William Cosmo Gordon Lang
Historical Figure
Nationality: Scotland, United Kingdom
Date of Birth: 1864
Date of Death: 1945
Cause of Death: Heart failure
Religion: Anglican
Occupation: Clergy, Politician, Author of Fiction, Author of Non-Fiction
Political Office(s): Member of Parliament for House of Lords
Fictional Appearances:
The War That Came Early
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
Appearance(s): The Big Switch
Type of Appearance: Direct (via radio)

The Right Reverend and the Right Honourable William Cosmo Gordon Lang, 1st Baron Lang of Lamberth (31 October 1864 - 5 December 1945) was a Scottish born clergyman of the early 20th century, serving as the Archbishop of York (1909-1928) and the Archbishop of Canterbury (1928-1942). In both positions, he was unusually outspoken. In the lead up to World War II, Lang supported the appeasement policy of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's Government. As war began, he preached against the anti-Semitic policies of the Nazi Party and urged his flock to be prepared to give aid and comfort to distressed European Jews as opportunities to do so presented themselves.

Lang retired as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1942 but remained active politically. He was created Lord Lang of Lambert and, now as a Lord Temporal, participated in debates in the House of Lords for the rest of his life. In December 1945 he died suddenly of heart failure.

Cosmo Lang in The War That Came Early[]

Cosmo Lang presided at the funeral of Minister of War Winston Churchill in the summer of 1940. His eulogy, broadcast over the BBC, was dull. Neville Chamberlain's subsequent speech, however, was even duller.[1]


  1. The Big Switch pg. 238, tpb.
Religious titles
Preceded by
Arthur Winnington-Ingram
Bishop of Stepney
Succeeded by
Luke Paget
Preceded by
William Maclagan
Archbishop of York
Succeeded by
William Temple
Preceded by
Randall Davidson, 1st Baron Davidson of Lambeth
Archbishop of Canterbury